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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2023 8:10 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17826
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner


10.How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't by Ian Dunt

Around 20 years ago (probably closer to a quarter century now), I was watching a lecture by a prominent broadcaster who during the questions mentioned his personal view that "this country is terribly governed" regardless of party. It's stuck with me for many years and throughout my own studies, wider reading, and general life experience it's a view I've never completely shaken.

Sweary podcast king Ian Dunt takes us through the institutional and political failings of the Commons, the government, the civil service, and the media, drawing on contemporary interviews with many leading figures across the political spectrum (how I would have loved to have watch him interview Peter Bone!). I felt that whilst the case studies are new and provide ample modern examples to draw on, the underlying analysis and the lingering sense of futility isn't. But it's a highly enjoyable and concise read, with a comprehensive bibliography for further reading.

The stand-out chapter is the section on the 2021 retreat from Afghanistan. I got so angry reading about what happened, especially the dog lift, that I had to put the book down and get a stiff drink rather than throw it across the room. If you read anything this year, read this.

A depressing but necessary summary of the failings of our constitution, institutions, and leaders. Well worth reading.

11. Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made by James Wallis

This big, glossy, photo-heavy hardback is far better than I was expecting. Not only does Wallis summarise every winner of the coveted Spiel Des Jahres red pawn, he discusses if the game's worth playing today (TL;DR some are, some should be destroyed with fire), and what else was around at the time. It also tracks the changing tastes and ideas in board gaming from its inception to now (= 2022). He's not afraid to be scathing where necessary

Some poor design choices (white text on a yellow call-out? Seriously?!) but worth dabbling with if you're into modern board games. I got mine from the library: I'm not sure it's something I'd buy given BoardGameGeek exists although it's definitely ideal for dipping in and out of during quiet moments.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2023 8:39 
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Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 14168
Location: Shropshire, UK
Starting late, but summarising the books I've read so far in 2023 (most in the last couple of weeks)...

1. Alien, by Alan Dean Foster
2. Aliens, by Alan Dean Foster
3. Alien 3, by (you guessed it) Alan Dean Foster
4. Jack Reacher: One Shot -- I mistakenly thought this was the first Reacher book, probably because it's the one that the first Tom Cruise movie was based on.
5. Jack Reacher: Killing Floor -- this one *is* the first Reacher book, and is what the TV series was based on.


Currently working through the next Reacher book (Die Trying) but after that I'm going to switch over to The Last Day by Andrew Hunter Murray (of No Such Thing As A Fish fame)


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2023 13:41 
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Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3223
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.
17. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman.
18. Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux.
19. Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan.
20. Tenth of December - George Saunders.
21. The First and Last Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future - Olaf Stapledon.
22. Handsome Brute - Sean O'Connor.
23. Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
24. How to Make the World Add Up - Tim Harford.


The Old Man - Thomas Perry. I liked the start of the TV series but thought it lost its way, so figured I'd just read the book for closure. They've made some good changes for the series, keeping the heart of this, but like the Bourne stuff, the book is not as good as the screen, just good material. Still, I enjoyed it and whizzed through it in a day; decent espionage and action bits, poorer in dialogue and human relations (but having seen the TV bit I could just picture Jeff Bridges being more convincing).

Rutherford and Fry's Guide to Absolutely Everything - Rutherford and Fry. Decent explanations of science, for a non-science audience, with the presenter/author's personalities still present.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2023 18:21 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
Squirt wrote:
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.


6.) Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin.
Second of the Earthsea books - I really like these and ploughed through this one in an afternoon. A priestess finds a Wizard going to find a thing in a spooky labyrinth!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2023 7:16 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17826
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
10.How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't by Ian Dunt
11. Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made by James Wallis


12.The Theory of Everything Else by Dan Schreiber
A look at cranky beliefs throughout history, especially those held by Nobel prize winners and others who might be expected to know better. A bit of light fun and weirdness including a glowing raccoon.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2023 9:30 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48679
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
He gets the girl


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.


Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.


The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.


Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.


Artemis - Andy Weir a caper on the moon. Similar in style to the Martian, but isn't as good. Dialogue felt clunky and awkward at times.


Beyond the Burn Line
by Paul J. McAuley


The earth is inhabited by evolved racoons now free from being enslaved by intelligent bears. They are trying to work out what went on.

It's OK, but I didn't massively enjoy it.


Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Absolutely loved this. Across three timelines, there's an anomaly witnessed. It's a great read, and lovely.

Recommend this!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2023 9:32 
SupaMod
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Posts: 69556
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We have people that have a list they strip the details from and people that use spoiler tags and people that do both...

And then we have Mali :D

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2023 18:36 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3223
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.
17. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman.
18. Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux.
19. Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan.
20. Tenth of December - George Saunders.
21. The First and Last Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future - Olaf Stapledon.
22. Handsome Brute - Sean O'Connor.
23. Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
24. How to Make the World Add Up - Tim Harford.
25. The Old Man - Thomas Perry.
26. Rutherford and Fry's Guide to Absolutely Everything - Rutherford and Fry.


How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu. Melting ice-caps reveal a deadly virus that spreads, causing death and destruction. The book follows different stories, a scientist at first, a comic with a new job jollying kids along to euthanasia, an exploratory ship. It's almost a series of short stories, except they're cleverly interlinked. It's science fiction, and obviously a pandemic book, but thoughtful, clever, and an exploration of a possible future. The setting is bleak, yet people keep falling in love - and that's never tedious for repetition, just nicely handled. It's under 300 pages but epic in scale. Proper good sci-fi, with satirical and predictive elements, rooted in humanity.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2023 17:05 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17826
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
10.How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't by Ian Dunt
11. Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made by James Wallis
12.The Theory of Everything Else by Dan Schreiber

13.A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins

Middle class filmmaker goes to prison; hangs out with other white collar crims; they get all the good jobs.

A bit harsh, but that's how he describes his time at HMP Wandsworth. His descriptions of the petty bureaucracy, the drug abuse, and the mental health problems prisoners face are pretty stark, but he intersperses it with the everyday humour and humanity of prison life.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2023 11:28 
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Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 14168
Location: Shropshire, UK
1. Alien, by Alan Dean Foster
2. Aliens, by Alan Dean Foster
3. Alien 3, by (you guessed it) Alan Dean Foster
4. Jack Reacher: One Shot -- I mistakenly thought this was the first Reacher book, probably because it's the one that the first Tom Cruise movie was based on.
5. Jack Reacher: Killing Floor -- this one *is* the first Reacher book, and is what the TV series was based on.
6. Jack Reacher: Die Trying -- wasn't quite as enjoyable as the other two, perhaps because I struggle to form pictures in my head, but still a good read.

Contrary to my last post, I'm now moving on to The Colour of Magic by Pratchett.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2023 9:45 
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Posts: 25628
Jack Reacher: Tie Dyeing is what I read that as. But yeah, probably quite visual. Lots of swirly colours.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2023 9:49 
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Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 14168
Location: Shropshire, UK
Mimi wrote:
Jack Reacher: Tie Dyeing is what I read that as. But yeah, probably quite visual. Lots of swirly colours.

:DD


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2023 19:31 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17826
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
10.How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't by Ian Dunt
11. Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made by James Wallis
12.The Theory of Everything Else by Dan Schreiber
13.A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins

14. Jingo by Terry Pratchett

The Watch get caught up in the complexities of geopolitics. They're always a joy but Pratchett's satire is a bit too obvious and clunky here.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2023 20:04 
User avatar
Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3223
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.
17. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman.
18. Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux.
19. Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan.
20. Tenth of December - George Saunders.
21. The First and Last Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future - Olaf Stapledon.
22. Handsome Brute - Sean O'Connor.
23. Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
24. How to Make the World Add Up - Tim Harford.
25. The Old Man - Thomas Perry.
26. Rutherford and Fry's Guide to Absolutely Everything - Rutherford and Fry.
27. How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu.


Utopia Avenue - David Mitchell. The story of a fictional band in the 60s, the story of the band and its members. Daringly includes encounters with real celebs and musicians which mostly work, at least till some parties later on when there are a few too many, and some very bland bantz. We're not quite in "that's my name, don't wear it out!" territory, but it's close. But the story rocks along, even surviving a very strange chapter or two covering mental illness/magic which is I suppose a hefty nod to 60s psychadelia. The descriptions of gigs, successful and not, are excellent and moving, and the whole is brilliant. It's long, but rolls along happily.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2023 9:39 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
Squirt wrote:
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.
6.) Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin.


7.) South by Java Head - Alistair MacLean
Not bad, but honestly just felt like a string of stuff that happened all in a row, rather than an actual story. All highly improbable and slightly daft.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2023 8:51 
User avatar
Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48679
Location: Cheshire
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.


Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.


The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.


Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.


Artemis - Andy Weir a caper on the moon. Similar in style to the Martian, but isn't as good. Dialogue felt clunky and awkward at times.


Beyond the Burn Line
by Paul J. McAuley


The earth is inhabited by evolved racoons now free from being enslaved by intelligent bears. They are trying to work out what went on.

It's OK, but I didn't massively enjoy it.


Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Absolutely loved this. Across three timelines, there's an anomaly witnessed. It's a great read, and lovely.

Recommend this!


The Terraformers - Annalee Newitz

The story of a planet made to be sold to people to live on as a holiday place, and those who take care of it through its life.

Yeah, I didn't like this
The first third was good, the second not so much, the third took a nose dive. Avoid.

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MaliA isn't just the best thing on the internet - he's the best thing ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2023 7:55 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17826
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
10.How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't by Ian Dunt
11. Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made by James Wallis
12.The Theory of Everything Else by Dan Schreiber
13.A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins
14. Jingo by Terry Pratchett

15. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Heard a lot about this, both here and elsewhere, so gave it a go. Loved it. Gripped all the way through.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2023 13:13 
SupaMod
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Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 69556
Location: Your Mum
I also liked Children of Time. There are two more in the series for you to read now :)

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2023 8:15 
User avatar
Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48679
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.


Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.


The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.


Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.


Artemis - Andy Weir a caper on the moon. Similar in style to the Martian, but isn't as good. Dialogue felt clunky and awkward at times.


Beyond the Burn Line
by Paul J. McAuley


The earth is inhabited by evolved racoons now free from being enslaved by intelligent bears. They are trying to work out what went on.

It's OK, but I didn't massively enjoy it.


Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Absolutely loved this. Across three timelines, there's an anomaly witnessed. It's a great read, and lovely.

Recommend this!


The Terraformers - Annalee Newitz

The story of a planet made to be sold to people to live on as a holiday place, and those who take care of it through its life.

Yeah, I didn't like this
The first third was good, the second not so much, the third took a nose dive. Avoid.


Eversion by Alistair Reynolds

A vice enjoying surgeon joins a ship's crew on a private expedition to find a mysterious structure to gain fame and fortune in the absolutely brilliant mystery horror novel.

It was 99p so grab it on Kindle. I loved every page.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2023 9:04 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
I read that as "Eurovision" at first and was very surprised by the summary.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2023 10:05 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
Squirt wrote:
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.
6.) Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin.
7.) South by Java Head - Alistair MacLean.


8.) Sharpe's Triumph - Bernard Cornwell
The second Sharpe novel ( chronologically ). Sharpe has an adventure, kills some foreigns at the Battle of Assaye, meets the Duke of Wellington and gets promoted! A nice easy read with a bit of intrigue and action and historical shenanigans. My dad had the full set, so I'm going to slowly work my way through. Next stop, Sharpe's Fortress!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2023 13:11 
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Posts: 49232
I got the DVD boxed set a few years back. Unfortunately the recording quality makes it unwatchable on a TV of any decent size :(

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2023 13:18 
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Master of dodgy spelling....

Joined: 25th Sep, 2008
Posts: 22558
Location: shropshire, uk
Cras wrote:
I got the DVD boxed set a few years back. Unfortunately the recording quality makes it unwatchable on a TV of any decent size :(


Yes I have the same baox set, it is a shame.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2023 13:51 
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Unpossible!

Joined: 27th Jun, 2008
Posts: 38478
And since it was likely shot on video, it'll never look any better.

It'll never be.... sharp


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2023 16:22 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
I haven't got as far as the TV series yet, as they were written out of order and the ones I'm reading now were written after the TV show started. I liked the show, although i haven't watched it for ages, but i do remember them trying quite hard to hide the fact they could only afford about 15 extras for the battle scenes.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2023 8:24 
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Sleepyhead

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 27343
Location: Kidbrooke
I read a book!

"Titanium Noir" by Nick Harkaway

This is quite different to his other books, but no less good. It's a noir detective story set in the near future, written in first person as the detective, and it's great. Very accessible, very fun, very recommended.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2023 13:43 
SupaMod
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Est. 1978

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 69556
Location: Your Mum
That description is giving me Altered Carbon vibes. Is it anything like that?

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2023 21:16 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3223
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.
17. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman.
18. Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux.
19. Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan.
20. Tenth of December - George Saunders.
21. The First and Last Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future - Olaf Stapledon.
22. Handsome Brute - Sean O'Connor.
23. Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
24. How to Make the World Add Up - Tim Harford.
25. The Old Man - Thomas Perry.
26. Rutherford and Fry's Guide to Absolutely Everything - Rutherford and Fry.
27. How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu.
28. Utopia Avenue - David Mitchell.


The Old Drift - Namwali Serpell. An epic tale following different families through generations. Went a generation too far, and by the end as it went to the future I wasn't really sure what it was all for, as it seemed to stop being an intergenerational history and slipped into science fiction, in a way that didn't work. Won awards, though, so I missed something.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold - Toshikazu Kawaguchi. Sometimes charming, sometimes saccharin story of very limited time travel (you can go back, but only from one place, and you have to finish your coffee before it gets cold) where people learn lessons. I suspect a lot was lost in travel, as repetition of the rules by people who had just been told them was weird, and them all so obviously jumping to the wrong assumptions about others' reactions was maddening, rather than understandable. Still an interesting concept and a couple of the linked stories worked for me.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - John le Carre. You promised me these got better, and this one is where they do - taut and neat, sparse prose that communicates a lot and a decent plot.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2023 20:27 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
Squirt wrote:
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.
6.) Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin.
7.) South by Java Head - Alistair MacLean.
8.) Sharpe's Triumph - Bernard Cornwell


9.) Sharpe's Fortress - Bernard Cornwell.
Sean Bean does some fighting, makes some enemies and gets into all sorts of trouble. All jolly splendid!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2023 22:36 
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Sleepyhead

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 27343
Location: Kidbrooke
Grim... wrote:
That description is giving me Altered Carbon vibes. Is it anything like that?


It's a much nearer future than that, but I guess there are some genre similarities, yes. I think. I've not read AC in ages.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2023 23:10 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.
6.) Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin.
7.) South by Java Head - Alistair MacLean.
8.) Sharpe's Triumph - Bernard Cornwell.
9.) Sharpe's Fortress - Bernard Cornwell.


10.) Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell.
Sean Bean, rather improbably, gets involved in the Battle of Trafalgar. Fighting, adventure, skullduggery and the continuous use of the term "lady hole" which is apparently a real part of a ship but sounds rather rude.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2023 6:53 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17826
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
10.How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't by Ian Dunt
11. Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made by James Wallis
12.The Theory of Everything Else by Dan Schreiber
13.A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins
14. Jingo by Terry Pratchett
15. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

16. Eversion by Alistair Reynolds

As recommended by MaliA, above.
Gripping mystery, ideal for holiday reading.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2023 20:11 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3223
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.
17. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman.
18. Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux.
19. Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan.
20. Tenth of December - George Saunders.
21. The First and Last Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future - Olaf Stapledon.
22. Handsome Brute - Sean O'Connor.
23. Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
24. How to Make the World Add Up - Tim Harford.
25. The Old Man - Thomas Perry.
26. Rutherford and Fry's Guide to Absolutely Everything - Rutherford and Fry.
27. How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu.
28. Utopia Avenue - David Mitchell.
29. The Old Drift - Namwali Serpell.
30. Before the Coffee Gets Cold - Toshikazu Kawaguchi.
31. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - John le Carre.


Station 11 - Emily St John Mandel. Doubt she's written a bad book, and this is great. Post apocalyptic story of a group of travellers who perform Shakespeare and concerts as they survive. Plenty of bits of horror and stuff to survive, but fundamentally a (to me) convincing suggestion that it's hope and humanity that lives on, rather than the feral idea (bit too Tory for me) that civilisation is only a sliver away from degenerating permanently into being nasty, brutish and short. The TV series changed a few things and fleshes out the world, in itself an interesting look at the differences needed for screen - you really have to show more - but is just as good.

Stone Blind - Natalie Haynes. Another look at the myths from the view of those previously depicted just as objects, and also exposing some of the more obviously daft bits (yes, when they killed those kids, of course it wasn't just fine, people were upset!). I really dislike gods in fiction and thought this might do my head in, but it turns out I dislike the gods in (say) Vikings, interrupting the action while people pontificate on them, or worship them, or attempt to describe the world through them. Yawn. Here they are characters, and they just *are* (whether worshipped, invoked or not makes little difference to them, as do humans in general), with all their capriciousness and personality flaws. Brilliant, vivid and funny.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2023 20:48 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48679
Location: Cheshire
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.

Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.

Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.

The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.

Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.

Artemis - Andy Weir a caper on the moon. Similar in style to the Martian, but isn't as good. Dialogue felt clunky and awkward at times.

Beyond the Burn Line
by Paul J. McAuley


The earth is inhabited by evolved racoons now free from being enslaved by intelligent bears. They are trying to work out what went on.

It's OK, but I didn't massively enjoy it.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Absolutely loved this. Across three timelines, there's an anomaly witnessed. It's a great read, and lovely.

Recommend this!

The Terraformers - Annalee Newitz

The story of a planet made to be sold to people to live on as a holiday place, and those who take care of it through its life.

Yeah, I didn't like this
The first third was good, the second not so much, the third took a nose dive. Avoid.

Eversion by Alistair Reynolds

A vice enjoying surgeon joins a ship's crew on a private expedition to find a mysterious structure to gain fame and fortune in the absolutely brilliant mystery horror novel.

It was 99p so grab it on Kindle. I loved every page.


Children of Ruin - Adrian Tchaikovsky

Sequel to the first book Children of Time.

I didn't like it as much and it was a slog at times.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2023 21:24 
User avatar
Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.
6.) Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin.
7.) South by Java Head - Alistair MacLean.
8.) Sharpe's Triumph - Bernard Cornwell.
9.) Sharpe's Fortress - Bernard Cornwell.
10.) Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell.


11. HMS Ulysses - Alistair MacLean.
To be honest, this read a lot like Mr MacLean read The Cruel Sea and decided to have a crack at writing a book like it himself, but didn't quite get it right. Not bad, but nothing too memorable.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2023 23:30 
User avatar
Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3223
MaliA wrote:
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.

Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.

Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.

The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.

Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.

Artemis - Andy Weir a caper on the moon. Similar in style to the Martian, but isn't as good. Dialogue felt clunky and awkward at times.

Beyond the Burn Line
by Paul J. McAuley


The earth is inhabited by evolved racoons now free from being enslaved by intelligent bears. They are trying to work out what went on.

It's OK, but I didn't massively enjoy it.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Absolutely loved this. Across three timelines, there's an anomaly witnessed. It's a great read, and lovely.

Recommend this!

The Terraformers - Annalee Newitz

The story of a planet made to be sold to people to live on as a holiday place, and those who take care of it through its life.

Yeah, I didn't like this
The first third was good, the second not so much, the third took a nose dive. Avoid.

Eversion by Alistair Reynolds

A vice enjoying surgeon joins a ship's crew on a private expedition to find a mysterious structure to gain fame and fortune in the absolutely brilliant mystery horror novel.

It was 99p so grab it on Kindle. I loved every page.


Children of Ruin - Adrian Tchaikovsky

Sequel to the first book Children of Time.

I didn't like it as much and it was a slog at times.


Helpful! I have it on my wishlist, and the 3rd in the series was on Kindle sale recently, so I was waiting. I'll perhaps just skip the second and see how it wraps up.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2023 7:59 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17826
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
10.How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't by Ian Dunt
11. Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made by James Wallis
12.The Theory of Everything Else by Dan Schreiber
13.A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins
14. Jingo by Terry Pratchett
15. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
16. Eversion by Alistair Reynolds

17. The Irish Difference: a tumultuous history of Ireland's breakup with Britain by Fergal Tobin

The book promises much by claiming early on to contrast the Irish experience with that of Scotland and Wales but he never really develops this and it just becomes a standard overview of Irish history. It's a bit of a plod to get through too despite only being a refresher on key events.

18. Fake Heroes by Otto English

The TL;DR: most famous people were dicks.
The iconoclasm and occasional smugness is tempered by highlighting people more deserving of praise, who were often around at the same time as the fake heroes, but I've already forgotten about them.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2023 16:17 
User avatar
Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.
6.) Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin.
7.) South by Java Head - Alistair MacLean.
8.) Sharpe's Triumph - Bernard Cornwell.
9.) Sharpe's Fortress - Bernard Cornwell.
10.) Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell.
11). HMS Ulysses - Alistair MacLean.


12.) The Satsuma Complex - Bob Mortimer.
A sort-of comedy-romance-thriller thing. Not bad, but I expected something either funnier or crimier from it, TBH. Splodges of surreal humour here and there but I don't think I'm going to be rushing out for the sequel.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2023 8:00 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17826
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
10.How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't by Ian Dunt
11. Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made by James Wallis
12.The Theory of Everything Else by Dan Schreiber
13.A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins
14. Jingo by Terry Pratchett
15. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
16. Eversion by Alistair Reynolds
17. The Irish Difference: a tumultuous history of Ireland's breakup with Britain by Fergal Tobin
18. Fake Heroes by Otto English

19. Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

Inside-the-sausage-factory look at the last days of Trump and the rise of Biden. It's all very earnest but ultimately frustrating, especially when the authors skim over things that probably deserve more attention or are coy about whether they're reporting from other people's work, basing it on their interviews, or just making assumptions.

20. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

Realised I hadn't read this classic. Not as laugh out loud as I'd been led to believe, but still charming in its way. Works more like an unintentional period piece with references to people and things that made sense in the 1980s but are alien to us now (eg no money at the weekend as the banks are closed; smoking carriages in trains; intra-Labour party disputes)


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 8:48 
User avatar
Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48679
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.

Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.

Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.

The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.

Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.

Artemis - Andy Weir a caper on the moon. Similar in style to the Martian, but isn't as good. Dialogue felt clunky and awkward at times.

Beyond the Burn Line
by Paul J. McAuley


The earth is inhabited by evolved racoons now free from being enslaved by intelligent bears. They are trying to work out what went on.

It's OK, but I didn't massively enjoy it.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Absolutely loved this. Across three timelines, there's an anomaly witnessed. It's a great read, and lovely.

Recommend this!

The Terraformers - Annalee Newitz

The story of a planet made to be sold to people to live on as a holiday place, and those who take care of it through its life.

Yeah, I didn't like this
The first third was good, the second not so much, the third took a nose dive. Avoid.

Eversion by Alistair Reynolds

A vice enjoying surgeon joins a ship's crew on a private expedition to find a mysterious structure to gain fame and fortune in the absolutely brilliant mystery horror novel.

It was 99p so grab it on Kindle. I loved every page.


Children of Ruin - Adrian Tchaikovsky

Sequel to the first book Children of Time.

I didn't like it as much and it was a slog at times.


The Traitor by Seth Dickinson

This is very good, indeed. It's a saddening, horrific tale of someone trying to take down an empire. Suffers a bit from "too many names" at times, but I forgive it that.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 14:42 
User avatar
Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6521
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.
6.) Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin.
7.) South by Java Head - Alistair MacLean.
8.) Sharpe's Triumph - Bernard Cornwell.
9.) Sharpe's Fortress - Bernard Cornwell.
10.) Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell.
11). HMS Ulysses - Alistair MacLean.
12.) The Satsuma Complex - Bob Mortimer.


13.) Gateway to Hell - Dennis Wheatley.
This was another of my "Read my Dad's old books" specials. It's a very strange one, some parts actually very thrilling, some just exposition, some tedious travelogue and a fair bit of right old junk. I'm looking to make a homebrew Call of Cthulhu campaign out of some Wheatley books, and I reckon this could work - a missing person case gets spookier and spookier. I'd just have to make some changes to the timeframe ( the book is set in the 50s ), jiggle with some of the character agency and get rid of a few Deus Ex Machinas, and then edit out a whole bunch of REALLY WIERD RACE AND POLITICS STUFF that's really kinda gross.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 15:13 
SupaMod
User avatar
Est. 1978

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 69556
Location: Your Mum
Hello! Do you have an eBook reader? Would you like a free book? I wrote it, so it's rubbish, but I'd love some notes on how to make it better (and where all the spelling mistakes are).

Bobby described it as "space Jack Reacher hangs out with a sex robot", which is pretty accurate.

Hit me up and I'll send you a copy.

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I wish Craster had left some girls for the rest of us.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 15:33 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

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Good stuff Grim...! As the brother of a one-time novelist, I know how much bloody work getting an actual finished manuscript is. Also, please make sure the cover art is a wildly over-the-top picure of the sexy robot.

I do not have a physical e-book reader, but if there is a way i can read it on my phone or laptop, I would be very interested in your book!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 17:14 
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I have an e-reader, I'd gladly have a read and provide feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 19:02 
SupaMod
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Est. 1978

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Squirt wrote:
Good stuff Grim...! As the brother of a one-time novelist, I know how much bloody work getting an actual finished manuscript is. Also, please make sure the cover art is a wildly over-the-top picure of the sexy robot.

I'm going to use this one.

Image

Obviously I've found something I don't like so I'm rewriting a chunk of it, but I'll send you both something later tonight, I reckon. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 23:41 
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I’m currently half way through Stephen King’s Fairytale, and he keeps name-checking or referring to things in popular culture to compare with the protagonist’s journey; Neverending Story, Wizard of Oz, Princess Bride, Howl’s Moving Castle, Lovecraft, Game Of Thrones, and to be honest it keeps jolting me out of the story. Worse than that, though, I’m starting to expect the references, so when the character is lost in a maze of streets and can’t keep track of where the castle is as some little man has erased all of his marks, I’m waiting for him to say ‘just like in that movie, Labyrinth’, and then when he didn’t I was sort of more annoyed because all of the other references have come clanging in. At one point he quotes the ‘My name is Inigo Montoya’ line, in a situation that bears no actual resemblance to that of the book/film, it is just shoehorned in. Gngghhhh.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2023 10:23 
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Grim... wrote:
Image

Is there a particular artist that's associated with Sexy Cyber Robots like this?

I vaguely remember seeing images like this in various Amiga demos in the 90s, and Jem recently bought a T-shirt with a robot like this on it, and I tried to find out if they were associated with someone in particular and drew a blank.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2023 11:06 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

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Grim... wrote:
Obviously I've found something I don't like so I'm rewriting a chunk of it, but I'll send you both something later tonight, I reckon. Thanks!


This is when we find that Grim totally re-writes it and it ends up a bittersweet coming-of-age story set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Highland Clearances.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2023 12:01 
SupaMod
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GazChap wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Image

Is there a particular artist that's associated with Sexy Cyber Robots like this?

I vaguely remember seeing images like this in various Amiga demos in the 90s, and Jem recently bought a T-shirt with a robot like this on it, and I tried to find out if they were associated with someone in particular and drew a blank.

I just searched Google for "Sexy robots" :D

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2023 13:17 
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Gogmagog

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Ok, Boomer.

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